Tesla’s vehicle registrations in China grew 150% to 11,565 in May from 4,633 in April. The electric automaker’s surge in sales of the Made in China Model 3 during May heavily contributed to the rise in registrations, along with imports of Tesla’s Model S and Model X.
The data comes from LMC Automotive, an auto consultancy, which noted that Tesla’s increase in vehicle registrations in May was significant, Reuters said. The organization stated that imports were included in the figure; the Model S and Model X are not currently built in China at Tesla’s Giga Shanghai production plant.
It was reported earlier this month that the Tesla Model 3 regained its title as the most popular electric car in China, which is the world’s largest automotive market. Tesla sold 11,095 Model 3s in May, taking the title from the BYD Qin Pro all-electric sedan.
Currently, Giga Shanghai is operating at a run rate of about 4,000 vehicles per week, all of which are Model 3. Tesla has worked diligently since early 2020 to begin ramping the production rate of the vehicle, along with introducing new configurations of the affordable sedan.
In April, Tesla sold only 3,636 Model 3s. While this number is considerably low, the electric automaker may have expected a drop in sales.
During the Q1 2020 Earnings Call, CEO Elon Musk announced that the Model 3 standard Range+variant that is produced at Giga Shanghai would be receiving a price drop to qualify for government incentives.
“We are making rapid progress on lowering the production cost in China, and we’re actually excited to announce on this call that we will be reducing the price of the Standard Range Model 3 basically tomorrow, China time,” Musk said during the call.
The price drop, however, would not take place until May 1 and would save buyers around ¥30,o00, or $4,243. After incentives and the 10% discount of the vehicle itself, the price stood at ¥271,550 ($38,409).
Speculations indicate that the drop in price convinced prospective buyers of the Tesla Model 3 to wait until May to purchase the vehicle.
Tesla had decided to lower the Model 3’s price after the Chinese government announced that electric vehicle subsidies would be extended for two years. After realizing the future of electric cars had been injected with additional momentum thanks to the subsidy extension, Tesla appears to have realized that it must adapt and take advantage of the government’s support.
While the Model 3 is the only currently built vehicle at the Giga Shanghai complex, construction crews in Shanghai are currently working on Phase 2A, where the Model Y will be built. Tesla expects to begin deliveries of the all-electric crossover in China in 2021.